Jennifer Beard

Assistant Professor, Global Health

Boston University, MPH
University of New Hampshire, PhD
Ohio University, MA

  • Office: Crosstown Center, CT381
  • Phone: 617-638-4611
  • Email:


Jennifer Beard, PhD, MA, MPH, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Global Health and the Center for Global Health & Development and the at the Boston University School of Public Health where she oversees the writing program and teaches courses in professional and scientific writing, qualitative research, social determinants of health, and mental health. She is also a founding member of the BU Program for Global Health Storytelling — a collaboration between BUSPH the BU College of Communication, and the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting — which looks at the similarities and tensions between global health research and journalism.

Dr. Beard’s research interests include the health and well-being of orphans and vulnerable children (OVC), and highly vulnerable adults such as sex workers, drug users, and other key populations at risk for HIV. From 2010-2014, she was the principal investigator for the multi-study Ghana Operations Research for Key Populations project which entailed 9 qualitative studies focused on the HIV prevention and other needs of populations at high risk for HIV and other forms of harm. The 9 studies, done in collaboration with the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, looked at the HIV prevention and harm reduction needs of young female sex workers, prisoners, men who have sex with men, post-secondary female students, women who work in bars, people who inject drugs, and people living with HIV at risk of dropping out of antiretroviral therapy. She has also worked in India, Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania, Ukraine, and Zambia. She has co-authored academic articles in peer reviewed journals, on a wide variety of topics including the health and wellbeing of OVC, the impact of OVC programming, the vulnerabilities faced by children of sex workers and drug users, and and the urgent needs for harm reduction programs for people who inject drugs in Ghana. Though her research is now focused on global health, Jennifer remains a devoted reader of Victorian novels and is convinced that her current research interests have their roots in her passion for Charles Dickens and the Brontë sisters.